Calcutta/Hyderabad: Adversities are not always destructive, at times it brings out the best in individuals. Yuvraj Singh is a case in point.
The world doffed its hat when the man hit cancer for a six and made a successful comeback to cricket. But even then, there were doubters who were not ready to give Yuvraj’s stamina a clean chit. Twenty20s, they said, is possible; Test cricket is not.
When on Sunday, Yuvraj made his way to the three-figure mark, playing for North Zone in the Duleep Trophy game against Central, it was proved that the doubters were wrong. On Monday, the decision was loud and clear — the doubters are absolutely wrong.
The fighter enhanced his century into a double on Monday. His 208-run innings, spread over almost two days, was evidence that the rigours of Test cricket will not be able to castle the left-handed batsman.
- Yuvraj hits 208 in first-class comeback
- Yuvraj has repaid the faith shown in him: Srikkanth
- Yuvi's double ton: Indian teammates ecstatic
But the man himself remains humble. He maintains that his runs are not an answer to his critics.
“I was not trying to prove any point to anyone... My aim was to go and enjoy myself out there in the middle. I wanted to have fun,” an elated Yuvraj told mediapersons after the end of the second day’s play.
With the England Test series up next for Team India, there are slots in the middle-order which Yuvraj can claim. For that, however, he needs the selectors’ nod. Shouldn’t this knock then be the yardstick on the basis of which Sandeep Patil and his colleagues can give Yuvraj another chance in Test cricket? “At this point in time, I don’t want to look too far ahead… For me, it is important that I take one match at a time,” Yuvraj said.
One wouldn’t have blamed him if his fitness was not up to the mark. Chemotherapy shatters the body while curing it. But this innings should give him a lot of confidence. And that is why, more than the amount of runs he scored, Yuvraj found it more satisfying that he had spent more than five hours in the middle.
“…Especially after what I went through, it really felt good that I batted for so long… What makes this double hundred special is that I had spent a good amount of time in the middle… That’s very satisfying,” Yuvraj said.
Yuvraj re-tasted international cricket in the T20 series against New Zealand and the World T20. But then, the shortest format hardly provides a player the time to take stock of his trade. That is why Yuvraj wanted to play the four-day Duleep Trophy game badly.
“Everyone knows that T20 is very different from first-class cricket… In the T20s, you don’t have the time to plan, but that was not the case over here… I had enough time to plan my innings and that really helped,” Yuvraj said.
About the match, Yuvraj’s double century helped North reach a comfortable position at stumps, on the second day of game.
Undefeated on 133 overnight, Yuvraj’s knock came off only 243 balls, with the help of 33 boundaries and three huge sixes. North managed a commendable 451 in 119.2 overs.